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Possibly switching from 5th to 4th...what's 4th like?

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Possibly switching from 5th to 4th...what's 4th like?
Old 04-12-2018, 06:09 PM
 
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There's a chance I may be switching to 4th grade next year. I've taught 5th for 4 years, and before that, I taught 1st for 2. I absolutely loved 5th at first - the independence, the literature, their ability to think critically, the amazing discussions they have, and the way they can (at their best) collaborate. But I've grown weary of the defiant attitudes, hormones, and the way many of them seem to stop caring about school and start caring only about their peers' opinions. I definitely wasn't made to teach middle school, and 5th graders are starting to seem more and more like middle schoolers. I've chosen to leave 5th to try something new, and I'm wondering if 4th is different enough.

So, what is 4th grade like? Positives and negatives welcome. How different is it from 5th?

Thanks so much!


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5th-->4th
Old 04-12-2018, 08:22 PM
 
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Fourth grade is different enough than 5th. Fourth graders can still do a lot of the critical thinking, the collaborating, be independent all without hormones for the most part, and that makes a HUGE difference. Take away the hormones and most of the defiance is gone and most of the tuning into their friends and forgeting about their work is gone as well. Hope that made sense.

I think you'll like 4th grade.
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After 25+ years in Fourth Grade,
Old 04-13-2018, 08:13 AM
 
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. . . I think they are the best humans on Earth. They can do so many things on their own, and they still want to please the teacher.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Fourth graders can still do a lot of the critical thinking, the collaborating, be independent
I went from 4th to 5th to 6th to middle and back down to 5th, and I think that 5th is the lowest I would go for the ability to think critically, collaborate, and be independent. Fourth graders are still far too needy and immature for me. But it is true that they seem to still have that adoration for their teacher simply because she/he's their teacher thing going on.

So like the PPs, I also agree that 4th is very different from 5th. I just think it's different in the wrong direction; others disagree! I prefer 6th-8th and would quit before I taught 1st-2nd. You'll probably love it!

Last edited by Gromit; 04-13-2018 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:52 PM
 
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I loop from fourth to fifth every year and love and are ďwearyĒ (love how you put that- lol) of the same things as you about fifth grade. I will tell you this, ending with fifth graders and starting the next year with fourth graders is eye-opening. They are tiny compared to end-of-year fifth graders. They are so immature (in a cute way) compared to end-of-year fifth graders. As PP said, most of them want to please the teacher. The literature is still good and you are the one to teach the critical thinking and how to have amazing discussions. It is always amazing to see how far they come in two years.


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4th compared to fifth
Old 04-15-2018, 03:25 AM
 
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I've taught fourth for 20 some years now. They are starting to act more and more like the pre- adolescent fifth graders halfway through the year!
But fifth graders are really too much for me
In terms of academics, 4th is great. The literature and thinking skills are wonderful! They have a lot of independent skills too.
Go for it.
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4th grade
Old 04-15-2018, 06:18 AM
 
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So, this is my experience. My 4th grade class can do all of those wonderful critical thinking things your 5th gr class can do. The real difference is that there is NO ATTITUDE like you describe in 5th grade (which I totally see in 5th grade here too)
HOWEVER: I have to make a disclaimer. I have the best class I've ever had in my 27 years of teaching. I can't believe how wonderful my class is. I just love every single one of them.

The curriculum is nice. The math is simple (imo). The reading (depending on your program) is okay. The kids can read level v books. (of course there are a few low ones). SS curriculum is decent. I like everything about 4th grade.

I've taught 5,6,3
Good luck in your decision. I love 4th.
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4th is my favorite level to teach!
Old 04-15-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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The kids are still usually sweet, but can do so much more independently than the lower grades. They are capable of higher order thinking skills. They know how to read at that age usually too which makes life so much easier than younger grades. Also, they have hopefully heard from many teachers before you if their kid has a problem. That seemed to be the age I noticed that many parents stopped being overly protective too.
I have limited experience w/ grades 5/6, but have taught them 1 year, years ago. The 5th/6th grade girls were so snotty and catty to each other that yr. IDK, but am guessing hormones kick in at that time.
If I had a choice ( I don't), I'd pick 4th grade. I taught it for many years and loved it! Best of luck!
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
have limited experience w/ grades 5/6, but have taught them 1 year, years ago. The 5th/6th grade girls were so snotty and catty to each other that yr. IDK, but am guessing hormones kick in at that time.
Thatís interesting because one of the things I like about 5th/6th is that all the girl drama has calmed down. Our 4th grade girls are constantly causing drama and tattling on and snubbing one another.
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:58 PM
 
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Not sure how to quote (and would love to know how) but Gromit mentioned 4th grade girls being the ones to constantly cause drama- SAME HERE. Last year, when I taught 4th, I feel like I spent more time on 4th grade girl drama than lesson plans! Since Iím in my 5th grade year in looping, I forgot about that one...


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Thank you! :)
Old 04-16-2018, 05:57 PM
 
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Thank you for the input! You are all so helpful!

I am still waiting to find out about my final grade level for next year, but you've made me feel a lot better about 4th being different from 5th.

Quote:
I've taught fourth for 20 some years now. They are starting to act more and more like the pre- adolescent fifth graders halfway through the year!
But fifth graders are really too much for me
If they're getting like that during the spring of 4th grade, imagine what 5th graders are like in the spring! .

Quote:
I went from 4th to 5th to 6th to middle and back down to 5th, and I think that 5th is the lowest I would go for the ability to think critically, collaborate, and be independent. Fourth graders are still far too needy and immature for me. But it is true that they seem to still have that adoration for their teacher simply because she/he's their teacher thing going on.

So like the PPs, I also agree that 4th is very different from 5th. I just think it's different in the wrong direction; others disagree! I prefer 6th-8th and would quit before I taught 1st-2nd. You'll probably love it!
It's actually super encouraging that you, loving middle school, didn't love 4th. Since I don't love middle school at all, it would probably fit with my personality a lot better! You've also reaffirmed my suspicion that 5th grade is basically middle school light.

Quote:
That’s interesting because one of the things I like about 5th/6th is that all the girl drama has calmed down. Our 4th grade girls are constantly causing drama and tattling on and snubbing one another.
That's definitely good to know. I don't see tons of girl drama in 5th. I do, however, see tons of boys trying to one up each other in how much they can disrupt class/do the least amount of work possible/act super tough. But that's a subject for another day...
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I taught 5th for
Old 04-18-2018, 05:04 PM
 
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2 years then switched to 4th the last 24! I teach right next door to 2 5th grade classrooms. My kids can be loud but they are obnoxious!

I donít miss 5th (obviously)!
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Well...
Old 04-19-2018, 08:39 PM
 
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Thanks again for the replies! I found out that I will actually be teaching 3rd next year, as I was originally told. There was a bit of movement that confused things for awhile. So I guess that will be REALLY different from 5th, which is thankfully what I'm looking for!
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